Like millions of other Americans, I'll be watching the president and Governor Daniels offer their ideas for helping to address our country's biggest challenges. As we eagerly anticipate the speeches, I will be especially focused on the framework they present for the future of high-quality health care and, specifically, how sound public policies can strengthen our collective ability to fight disease and keep Americans healthy.
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A recent editorial in the Cherokee Chronicle Times highlights the importance of new medicines for patients. Innovative prescription medicines and treatments are saving lives and giving patients the opportunity for a healthier future. However, success requires immense resources - the best scientific minds, highly sophisticated technology and complex project management. It also takes persistence and, sometimes, luck.
Over the weekend, I watched a documentary called Objectified, about industrial design and the people who work in the field.
Intended to make us think about the world around us and the products that fill it, the film was interesting and well-made. One segment was especially note-worthy: the vegetable peeler.
I am very much looking forward to hearing what President Obama has to say during his annual State of the Union (SOTU) address tomorrow night. This year's address will be particularly interesting due to the fact that it is an election year and there are a lot of important issues that will most likely be addressed, including the state of the economy and jobs.
If you've been reading the Catalyst recently, you know we've greatly expanded our pool of authors and the new contributors have brought some amazing insights and perspectives to the many important issues we work on in the biopharmaceutical sector.
It is my good fortune to work with these experts every day. I learn from them and I hope you are as well.
A child born today can expect to live 30 years longer than a child born a century ago; that difference represents practically my entire life. Children may not realize the incredible progress that has been made, but their parents will. We all laugh at the, 'when I was your age, I had to walk 3 miles up hill in the snow with no shoes' comparisons, but things have changed.
Matt Herper's Forbes post yesterday highlights an issue we've been in an uproar over for years now: the quickly growing problem of the antibiotics pipeline. Bacteria are evolving faster than companies can bring new antibiotics to market, which leads to problems like upticks in MRSA infections and other superbugs.
I'm a little bit obsessed with layman's astronomy - I downloaded NASA's phone app within hours of getting my new Smartphone and excitedly check the news for Higgs-Boson updates. The geek in me gets a toe-tingle when unrelated fields of research interact with one another and they renovate each other's thinking; this TEDx talk about interactions between astronomers and neurologists is a fascinating example.
It's no secret that some patients across the country have faced drug shortages, and this is an issue that we take very seriously. Unfortunately, it is not a problem that is easily remedied.
For a while now I've intended to use my little Nike tracking device that can be attached to my running shoe and connected to my Nano. Big-brother-is-watching-me paranoia aside, it would be a great monitoring tool as I "train" for the Cherry Blossom 10-miler (though less effective on a treadmill).
There's a buzz going on today, caused by an article in The New York Times about government oversight of biopharmaceutical research company payments to physicians. These payments, as our web site's sales and marketing page explains, are compensation for important educational and research services provided by expert physicians.
This morning, I was speaking with fellow blog contributor Jeff Trewhitt - who himself credits a medicine with saving his life when he was diagnosed with a very rare cancer - about how the biopharmaceutical sector is seen as not being innovative anymore.
As Jeff pointed out, that view is wrong - in reality, companies are more innovative than ever before.
Children are not "small adults" when it comes to medicine, a fact pointed out in a recent article in NIH's Winter edition of Medline Magazine. Parents want nothing but the best for their children and previously that was hard to determine when it came to medicines. Historically, many FDA-approved drugs had not been studied in pediatric populations, resulting in inadequate or unavailable information on dosing, safety, efficacy and side effects.
According to an Associated Press article in the Washington Post that caught my eye today, India has reached a remarkable - and admittedly surprising - milestone: one full year without any new diagnoses of polio.
Today I'm pleased to introduce to Catalyst readers PhRMA's new vice president of scientific affairs, Dr. Salvatore Alesci. Dr. Alesci has worked in research at the government level, for the National Institutes of Health, as well as for several biopharmaceutical research companies. Today, I sat down with Dr. Alesci to ask him a few questions about his experiences and his thoughts about the future of R&D.
How did you get into the field of biopharmaceutical research and development?